begin reaching out to struggling county businesses.
Hollister – The San Benito County Economic Development Corporation will soon begin reaching out to struggling county businesses.
The outreach will take the form of a one-page questionnaire to be sent to at least 50 business owners. After it is completed and returned, EDC staff will schedule meetings to discuss the business owners’ needs and how to address them.
“What we’re trying to do is evaluate need and help in certain areas,” EDC Director Al Martinez said.
After the consultation, EDC representatives will refer business people to other agencies for help, such as the recently created business service center. EDC representatives will then conduct 30 and 60 day follow-ups with the businesses to determine the success of the referral.
“We have different people for different needs,” Martinez said. “Hopefully, it will take hold in the business community that there is a place to came and say I need this service.”
Martinez said that the EDC is trying to make the whole process as convenient and effective as possible so more business owners will take the time to be a part of the program.
“We’re trying to make it easy,” he said. “It’s tough to get a small business owner to talk to you. They don’t want to take the time.”
The county is using $12,000 in federal “rapid response” funds, which were made available by the 1998 Workforce Investment Act, to fund the program through next March.
Supervisor Anthony Botelho said he likes to see the county work cooperatively with the EDC and would like to see more of a partnership in the future.
“It should have been done yesterday,” Botelho said. “My position from my campaign was that the county should work closer with the EDC. I think the county needs to work in partnership with the EDC.”
Luke Roney covers politics and agriculture for the Free Lance. Reach him at 831-637-5566 ext. 335 or at [email protected]